Gathering Thoughts

Gathering Thoughts

Been very busy catching up on our business demands since returning from the Sun Valley gathering, but I thought I’d take a few minutes and share some details about it.

First, I’d like to thank Robin for her post. In just a few words she summed up the feelings of many who were there. Thanks also to Sharón for her summary.

Things seemed to get off to a rocky start however. As many of you know I record all the gatherings. Several times some fluke has occurred that made it seem as if we would not get a recording. In Texas the equipment didn’t seem to work at first and then it did. In Nauvoo I discovered the power cord was missing and since the digital recording device required a special cord it looked as if we may not get any audio. Two things happened to save us there. First Catherine brought her video camera and recorded the whole event from which she extracted the audio.

Secondly, Rick and Keith made several trips to Radio Shack and were able to piece together several parts to make a usable power cord. We at least got the last half recorded in reasonable quality.

I use a M-Audio input device linked to my computer and this produces great quality audio. It usually works fine, but there is something about the gatherings that seems to spook it.

This time in Sun Valley I was wondering if we were going to get any recording at all. I turned everything on and nothing seemed to work. As we went through an hour of introductions it seemed to record on and off and then it quit working again. Finally, after much fiddling, when I started to speak it seemed to record OK, but then when I tested it a short time later I discovered it only recorded at about 10-15% normal volume (for no reason). Fortunately, I can salvage that with some software I have.

Finally, it started working correctly and worked flawlessly for the next three days.

But then Saturday Morning another odd thing happened. When I opened up the portable computer, I noticed that it was in the sleep mode. I immediately figured that I did not turn it off the night before. When it is in normal mode the computer will run about 2-3 hours on internal batteries and then about 4-5 hours in the sleep mode. I assumed the computer would be completely discharged of power. I pressed the test button and it was completely charged. This seemed very odd I thought. How could the portable be not connected to a plug, be on all night, yet be fully charged?

Then I talked to Larry and he commented on how odd his portable was behaving. In addition, the new age site with the archives crashed again. Fortunately, he was able to give instructions to his son so he could fix it from Larry’s home.

Equipment flukes continued into Saturday night as we prepared for Karaoke. We got it all set up ready to have fun and the monitor let out a flicker and died. I went to the front desk of the Lodge and asked them if they had any spare TVs. They said no. I asked if there were any TV’s in the Condos that were not bolted down. They said they all were secured.

I returned to the party. We had our own bartender (supplied by the Lodge) and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves but we needed that Karaoke to really make it a great night. I asked the bartender if he could get us a TV. He said he had a friend that might bring us one over. He called his friend and within a few minutes he brought over his personal TV. We hooked it up and it didn’t work either. We were all beside ourselves attempting to make it work when Dan came through the door with another TV is his hands.

I asked him where he got it and he said there was one in his condo that wasn’t bolted down.

We hooked it up and it worked perfectly and we had more fun with it than we imagined. We were all glad we did not give up and especially to Dan for searching where a movable TV was not supposed to be.

We enjoyed the Karaoke so much that we hooked it up Sunday evening to a large screen TV in our cottage.

And speaking of the cottage that reminds me that outside of these technical glitches everything went quite well and we even had some good luck. One of the condos designated for us was not available so the Sun Valley Lodge substituted a cottage instead that can cost up to three times the amount of a condo to rent. This cottage had enough room so that all 40 of us could gather and mingle. It was a lot cozier than the conference room and had six bathrooms which was an added little convenience.

Sun Valley is a beautiful area in the mountains. We thought it may be a little cool this time of year but most of the time it was around 70 degrees in the middle of the day. Even so, we had quite a range of weather. When I was talking about earth changes due to odd weather it turned from sunny to stormy with lots of rain followed by a torrent of hail. Shortly after I finished the class it turned sunny again. Several thought that was oddly funny.

We all had a great time and since we finally got the recording equipment to work, I will be posting the audio shortly. The comments I heard was that this was either the best or one of the best gatherings. Our goal is indeed to get better every year.

There’s much more to tell but I hope that others will come forward and post their thoughts and experiences. I know that those who did not make it will appreciate it.

Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing. Quincy Jones

Gathering Thoughts

Been very busy catching up on our business demands since returning from the Sun Valley gathering, but I thought I’d take a few minutes and share some details about it.

First, I’d like to thank Robin for her post. In just a few words she summed up the feelings of many who were there. Thanks also to Sharón for her summary.

Things seemed to get off to a rocky start however. As many of you know I record all the gatherings. Several times some fluke has occurred that made it seem as if we would not get a recording. In Texas the equipment didn’t seem to work at first and then it did. In Nauvoo I discovered the power cord was missing and since the digital recording device required a special cord it looked as if we may not get any audio. Two things happened to save us there. First Catherine brought her video camera and recorded the whole event from which she extracted the audio.

Secondly, Rick and Keith made several trips to Radio Shack and were able to piece together several parts to make a usable power cord. We at least got the last half recorded in reasonable quality.

I use a M-Audio input device linked to my computer and this produces great quality audio. It usually works fine, but there is something about the gatherings that seems to spook it.

This time in Sun Valley I was wondering if we were going to get any recording at all. I turned everything on and nothing seemed to work. As we went through an hour of introductions it seemed to record on and off and then it quit working again. Finally, after much fiddling, when I started to speak it seemed to record OK, but then when I tested it a short time later I discovered it only recorded at about 10-15% normal volume (for no reason). Fortunately, I can salvage that with some software I have.

Finally, it started working correctly and worked flawlessly for the next three days.

But then Saturday Morning another odd thing happened. When I opened up the portable computer, I noticed that it was in the sleep mode. I immediately figured that I did not turn it off the night before. When it is in normal mode the computer will run about 2-3 hours on internal batteries and then about 4-5 hours in the sleep mode. I assumed the computer would be completely discharged of power. I pressed the test button and it was completely charged. This seemed very odd I thought. How could the portable be not connected to a plug, be on all night, yet be fully charged?

Then I talked to Larry and he commented on how odd his portable was behaving. In addition, the new age site with the archives crashed again. Fortunately, he was able to give instructions to his son so he could fix it from Larry’s home.

Equipment flukes continued into Saturday night as we prepared for Karaoke. We got it all set up ready to have fun and the monitor let out a flicker and died. I went to the front desk of the Lodge and asked them if they had any spare TVs. They said no. I asked if there were any TV’s in the Condos that were not bolted down. They said they all were secured.

I returned to the party. We had our own bartender (supplied by the Lodge) and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves but we needed that Karaoke to really make it a great night. I asked the bartender if he could get us a TV. He said he had a friend that might bring us one over. He called his friend and within a few minutes he brought over his personal TV. We hooked it up and it didn’t work either. We were all beside ourselves attempting to make it work when Dan came through the door with another TV is his hands.

I asked him where he got it and he said there was one in his condo that wasn’t bolted down.

We hooked it up and it worked perfectly and we had more fun with it than we imagined. We were all glad we did not give up and especially to Dan for searching where a movable TV was not supposed to be.

We enjoyed the Karaoke so much that we hooked it up Sunday evening to a large screen TV in our cottage.

And speaking of the cottage that reminds me that outside of these technical glitches everything went quite well and we even had some good luck. One of the condos designated for us was not available so the Sun Valley Lodge substituted a cottage instead that can cost up to three times the amount of a condo to rent. This cottage had enough room so that all 40 of us could gather and mingle. It was a lot cozier than the conference room and had six bathrooms which was an added little convenience.

Sun Valley is a beautiful area in the mountains. We thought it may be a little cool this time of year but most of the time it was around 70 degrees in the middle of the day. Even so, we had quite a range of weather. When I was talking about earth changes due to odd weather it turned from sunny to stormy with lots of rain followed by a torrent of hail. Shortly after I finished the class it turned sunny again. Several thought that was oddly funny.

We all had a great time and since we finally got the recording equipment to work, I will be posting the audio shortly. The comments I heard was that this was either the best or one of the best gatherings. Our goal is indeed to get better every year.

There’s much more to tell but I hope that others will come forward and post their thoughts and experiences. I know that those who did not make it will appreciate it.

Imagine what a harmonious world it could be if every single person, both young and old shared a little of what he is good at doing. Quincy Jones

June 3, 2005

Copyright by J J Dewey 

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